In my previous clinical experience, I used to receive various cases of grown up or aged people who came to me complaining of various lower limb discomfort and wanted solutions for their long-standing problems as well.
The most common discomfort is pain or cramps in their legs. To respond well to this challenge, you need to understand various conditions that can cause pain or neuro-muscular problems in the lower limb compartment.
For example, a 61-year-old mother visited our clinic complaining of persistent pain and cramps in her left thigh. She complained of the discomfort that sometimes makes her lose sleep for many hours at night.
Neurological findings could not reveal any health deficit, but low levels of electrolytes were noticed in blood serum tests for calcium and magnesium. Other parameters were normal.
On addition, she had noticeable evidence of chronic dehydration, and thus a candidate for lifestyle therapy. Low levels of calcium and magnesium can be caused by previous medications taken but she had no recent history of illness and therefore no medications taken.
However, there other problems or factors that can usually cause pains or cramps in the lower limbs. Such commonly encountered problems include nerve irritation, arthritis, physical injury, blood clot, infection among others.
One of the commonest problems seen in seemingly healthy adults is arthritis and nerve irritation.
In arthritis, you will experience leg pain caused by a metabolic disorder or sometimes a degenerative disease. Arthritis usually occurs around your hips, knees, ankles and joint of your feet.
People who suffer with degenerative arthritis tend to feel pain while they are actively using their joints, while those who suffer from arthritis of metabolic origin as seen in gout and rheumatoid arthritis can experience pain even at rest.
Dietary Lifestyle is again very important to people with such health problems. Green food substances or vegetables are highly recommended in this case.
The nerve irritation problem is often observed in individuals whose body is exposed to less physical activity or poorly regulated physical activity.
Women and men with a poor history of physical exercise are usually exposed to this problem due to various reasons.
Accumulation of toxic substances in muscle fibres has been seen as one of the physiological causes though more research has to be done on the mechanism and action of these toxic substances to elicit the neuro-muscular problem.
To some individuals with poorly regulated physical activity, you will have nerve irritation caused by tight muscles, tendons, or ligaments that exert a group of nerves in the lower extremities.
Appropriate regular physical exercise is the solution to this kind of problem.
Some people experience nerve pain in or around the back. It tends to increase with exercise and diminish at rest. In this case, the doctor might advise you to go for some imaging tests based on his neurological or physical findings.
A person with lower limb or leg pain due to infectious process usually presents with fever, nausea among others. Blood workup is very important for diagnosis. Others tests like imaging or biopsy can be performed.
The most threatening leg pain that is usually encountered in our elderly people is deep vein thrombosis.
Causes of this thrombosis can be; prolonged sitting, bed rest, recent trauma or surgery, fractures, and regular use of estrogen-based drugs like birth control pills.
The most life threatening complication is when the clot reaches the heart, lung or brain or any other organ to cause damage. Most of these complications are very difficult to reverse.
Blood clots or thrombosis has the possibility of local blood circulation impairment as has been seen in patients who develop gangrene due to this problem.
Dr Joseph Kamugisha is a resident oncologist in Jerusalem, Israel